Niki Cheong is blogging

It's been LimaPuluhTujuh years

It is exactly one more week to Malaysia Day, which means that the LimaPuluhTujuh project is also in it final legs.

For those of you who are not familiar, LimaPuluhTujuh is a project I conceptualised and put together in collaboration with Nini Marini, John Lim, Vivian Chong and Low  Ngai Yuen, alongside her Kakiseni team, to commemorate 57 years since the historic year of 1957. It is kind of an extension of my 50×50 My Malaysia project last year, where I travelled to 13 states in 15 days to collect 50 stories to celebrate 50 years since Malaysia was formed in 1963.

LimaPuluhTujuh on the other hand is totally KL based (the one “state” I didn’t collect stories from last year”) and is all about reflecting on our personal histories to consider the context in which we all live in today in Malaysia. In short, it’s all about remembering what it was like growing up over the past 57 years. I won’t say too much more about the project, you can check out the official site here and a post from the media event that happened on August 31 here.

This blog post really was for me to explain why I am doing this, and how I hope you guys can still contribute.

My main motivation for this project – besides my usual aim of bringing people together, a thread that has weaved through all of my social projects – really was to drown out the negative sentiments that is rife in our country right now (not just on social media) with positive ones. We often look back at our past through sentimental lenses so there’s always a feel good factor. But I also felt that it was important these stories are told because we don’t often think about how our past have shaped our current lives – I wrote about this in my The Bangsar Boy column last week.

I wrote:

In recent years, however, I’ve come to realise how important it is that they keep telling their stories. This is because I’ve learned there are so many benefits to this — I get to learn from the past, consider my life in the context of my history and most of all, have a clear idea of how things were.

Most importantly, like with 50×50 My Malaysia, I am hoping that the sharing of these stories will cheer Malaysians up instead of wallowing on all the rhetoric and vitriol being spewed by certain people (and amplified online). You can still read some lovely stories from last year here.

So how can you contribute? There’s still a week after all. Well, easy enough is to head to the LimaPuluhTujuh website to contribute photos of you, your friends and your family growing up. Slightly more effort is to write a story. These images and stories will be archived on the site (forever or until I go broke paying for the hosting charges!) the same way the 50 stories from last year were.

We’ll also be on the road again this week. In a while, I’ll be in Cheras and this Saturday, somewhere in Bangsar. This is following our stops in Sentul last week as well as Dataran Merdeka last Sunday to meet the crowd from the Team Malaysia Fan Run and the No Car Day event.

If you’re up for it, visit Pavilion KL this weekend (or on Malaysia Day – public holiday what!) and head to the entrance to take a picture on our #samasama photo structure featuring the wondering work of seven comic bloggers or create phrases on our magnetic walls and pose with it. Don’t forget to update the images onto Instagram (and other social networks) with the #My57 hashtag.

These images, if hashtagged properly, will appear immediately on our Instagram wall located at Level 3, Fashion Avenue inside the shopping centre alongside the wonderful interactive-installation that Nini has beautifully designed. There, you can listen to stories that John recorded from seven Malaysians about what it was like for them growing up in Malaysia. Besides that, there are some other art-based installations you can contribute too (or write a letter to your future/past self on a specially-designed aerogram).

The whole set-up is a work in progress and the idea is that Malaysians have come together to build it together. You’ll see the complete bits on September 16. Come #samasama check it out together-gether?

9.19am Malaysian time (+8 GMT)

Discussion (1)

There is one response to “It’s been LimaPuluhTujuh years”.

  1. […] the mountain and it took me two weeks to recover. And then I had to get back to teaching. And then LimaPuluhTujuh just took over. And then … I didn’t run until a week before the […]

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